Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

The Alarming Increase of Dognapping – Who’s at Risk?

Well, every dog is at risk, but pure breeds are even more likely to be dognapped than mutts. Among the top-most kidnapped dogs are expensive, smaller dogs like Yorkies, Pomeranians, and even Beagles. Search the web and you’ll find article after article about dognapping cases and the ploys that perpetrators used to steal them away from their loving owners.

Why are dognappings increasing every year? So far, 2010 has by far the highest number of dognappings, and the year isn’t even over yet. Some of the reasons given include:

  • People wanting dogs they can’t afford, either for themselves or to give as gifts.
  • People who sell dogs to dog fighting rings (small dogs as practice animals, large dogs as sparring partners or new trainees).
  • People who want to make money selling an expensive pure breed dog.
  • People who are just plain cruel.

Think your dog is protected just because someone is holding it? Think again. A newspaper report from 2009 told of a young puppy being stolen right out of the arms of a 5 year old girl who was sitting in a public park with her mother not too far away. Thankfully, the authorities were notified immediately and the dog was found shortly thereafter, being raised by another family nearby.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) gives some good tips on their website about how to keep your dog safe:

  • Never leave your dog tied alone outside a restaurant or store while you go in to eat or shop.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a parked car (this is a no-no for many reasons).
  • Don’t answer too many questions from admirers about your dog, especially if they ask where you got him or how much he cost. Dognappers target more expensive dogs, so mentioning the boutique where you got him would be a dead giveaway as to how much he cost.
  • Stay alert to anyone following you home, either on foot or in the car. Serious dognappers break into homes just to steal expensive dogs.
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard, especially if your yard is visible from the street.

Looking at this from the innocent dog buyer’s perspective, how can you avoid buying stolen dogs? The AKC recommends:

  • Don’t buy puppies or dogs from a newspaper ad, flea market, roadside, or website. Anyone can run a newspaper ad, and editors can’t check the legitimacy of every ad, so unless you know the person, this seller could be making money selling stolen dogs.
  • Make sure the seller has authentic AKC documentation (litter registration number) on a pure breed

    Microchip size comparison to rice grain

    dog. “Authentic” is the keyword here – anything can be faked. Double-check authentication by calling AKC Customer Service at 919–233–9767 .

  • Buy from rescue shelters or screen the private breeder, visiting their home and asking lots of questions. You wouldn’t buy an expensive diamond from a stranger without asking lots of questions and double-checking the seller’s quality claims, so use the same principles with a private dog seller.

What can you do if your dog is stolen?

  • Call the police or animal control department immediately and file a police report. That’s what led to the recovery of the puppy stolen from that 5 year old girl mentioned above.
  • Put up fliers with your dog’s picture on it and spread the word around the neighborhood and neighboring areas.
  • Know your dog’s microchip number in case you get a call from a veterinarian or police.

You can find more information and links at http://www.akc.org. At their website, you can also find out how you can help pass important legislation on topics like dognapping, stopping animal abuse/cruelty, and much more. You don’t have to have a pure breed dog to get valuable information from this site and make a difference in keeping our pets safe!

Another great website with lots of detailed information on what to do if your dog is stolen is http://www.doggiemanners.com/art_finding_stolen_dogs.html. The article was written by a dog trainer after one of her client’s dogs was stolen; fortunately the dog was found a year later because of his microchip. The author gives excellent information on how to prepare in advance so you’ll be ready to act during that emotionally difficult time – don’t forget, time is of the essence when a dog is stolen. The article’s author says she put in over 100 hours of research and interviews in order to compile this important information – bookmark it on your computer just in case you ever need it.

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Baby Gate Tales of Horror :)

Loud noises have always scared Daisy, but her fear passes after a while (like with the whole dropping-things-in-the-kitchen fiasco when we’d just brought her home). Well, not so with the baby gate.

We’ve restricted Daisy to the family room and adjoining kitchen areas since we first brought her home – apparently you’re not supposed to give small young puppies the run of the house, according to vets and dog experts. They feel safer in smaller areas until they grow up a bit.

Anyway, during those first couple of months, we couldn’t get this baby gate to fit between the door frames properly. It was always either too tight and wouldn’t lock, or too loose and ready to fall over if you so much as whispered at it. The grooves to close it are pretty close together, but apparently we needed a half size (much like what happens with clothing sometimes: the small is too small and the medium is too large – where’s the small-and-a-half??)

So, depending on who secured the baby gate, it was either wobbly or so tight the wood door frame got dents. On one of those wobbly days, Daisy charged at the gate as I climbed over it, sliding into the bottom of it and causing it to fall over right on top of her! Though funny looking to us, she did NOT find this amusing in the least. I picked it up off her, and she ran into the family room. Not a good experience.

Another day she jumped up on it and must have sensed its wobbliness, so she backed off, sending it crashing down onto the hardwood floor. She raced away with her ears back like the devil himself was after her.

Things like this happened again and again.

None of this taught her not to jump on the gate, but they did teach her that the gate was something to fear when it wasn’t standing securely in the doorway.

Now, when I want to go out back to water the plants without taking her along, I make her sit and stay in the family room while I move the gate from the dining room/kitchen doorway to the kitchen/family room doorway. No problem there – the baby gate is in action and she doesn’t want any part of it. Her ears go back, her eyes open wide, and she moves further into the family room. When I come back in, she’s still deep in the family room, not trying to jump on or over the gate at all with a “please get that thing out of here” expression on her face.

As you can see from the picture, she has no problem with it when it’s in its usual kitchen/dining room spot!

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In Memory of 9/11, To All Our Heroes, Human and Canine

Thank you. Thank you for putting the welfare of others before your own. For jumping to action and putting yourselves in harm’s way while the rest of the world watched from a safe distance. For those we’ve lost and those who live on, dealing with the horrors they saw….thank you.

Take a moment to remember our fallen heroes, the fallen victims, the suffering survivors, and the families left behind. Stay as devoutly American in the future as you were on that dark day. And don’t ever let that day be forgotten.

Canine Memorials:
World Trade Center’s Heroic Dog Yearbookhttp://www.dogsinthenews.com/issues/0206/articles/020601y.htm

World Trade Center’s Heroic Rescue Dogshttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/980774/posts

K9 Task Forcehttp://k9taskforce.com/portal/ – 9/11 and beyond.

General:

New York Museum World Trade Center Rescue Recovery Responsehttp://www.nysm.nysed.gov/wtc/

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